Review by Jae9970
Soul Calibre II is a highly anticipated fighting game from Namco. As a self-proclaimed Tekken fan, I have played Soul Calibre 1 from arcade a couple of times, and was fascinated by the weapon system and graphics. I have been waiting for this game for quite a while, and finally it is here! Let us review.
Gameplay is really good with SC2. You have all the basic moves found in other fighting games, such as dashing, throwing, guarding, and reversing. There are four basic buttons, and they are horizontal swing, vertical swing, guard, and kick. Gameplay revolves around techniques that are so easy to perform. Most of the moves I make in SC2 involves only one directional button plus one of the attack buttons. Commands like half-circles and quarter-circles found in other fighting games are rare. Think about VF4. Horizontal swings are easily dodged by jumping or crouching, and vertical swings are dodged with axis-crossing. Each character has his or her own unique weapons and fighting styles. There are some unblockable moves. Awesome.
Unfortunately, I can not speak nor read Japanese at all. So it is impossible for me to evaluate the story. But, I assume it isn't horrible, since I've heard some character relationships and they are not that lame. Or, even by just looking at some characters, such as Nightmare, I could easily guess what his story was.
This is my favorite aspect of this game. The graphics are stunning! Stages are absolutely original and well-structured, and character models are detailed. Some weapon models can look a little simple, but consider that there are near a hundred weapons in the game. Special effects look amazing, too. Overall, SC2 has the best graphics I've seen in a fighting game. I hear that Xbox version and GC version have better graphics and things like that, but I don't care. My PS2 version looks awesome, and that's all I care.
Music is excellent. In the beginning of each match, the title of the background music appears, and the titles sound very fitting. The battle noise is great, too. As the fighters hack and slash each other, their groans, shouts, and weapons clashing can be heard.
Play Time and Replayability: 8/10
There is a Weapon Master mode, and this is much like the RPG-type modes in VF4 and Mortal Kombat. You progress through Chapters consisting of stages, and in each stage you need to achieve a certain goal. The goal is not limited to simply defeating the opponent. The opponents are sometimes only vulnerable to juggle attacks, or they are near invincible that you need to ring them out. Through those many stages, you earn money and experience. As you gain experience, your rank rises, and as of now I have no idea what good it does for having a high rank. You can use money collected to buy new weapons, third costumes for some characters, and other features of the game.
This is a great fighting game. If you can play with your friends, this is an awesome game. If you only play alone, then you can play Survival Modes, Arcades, Weapon Masters, Time Attacks, and view galleries. If you are doubtful, rent it first.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 03/29/03, Updated 03/29/03
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